YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – The world was blessed with the arrival of a precious soul on January 21, 2016, as De’Vonte Ja’Ton Housley, Jr. brought joy and laughter into the lives of his parents, Marquaysha Driver and De’Vonte Housley, Sr.

Tragically, on Sunday, October 22, 2023, De’Vonte’s journey on this earthly plane came to an untimely end. He was only seven years old.

Born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, De’Vonte brought immense happiness to those fortunate enough to know him. Affectionately known as Dunk, Jr. or Dooda, he possessed a radiant smile that could light up the darkest room and his infectious laughter was a source of unending joy for those around him. He had a charisma and warmth that endeared him to everyone he encountered.

Though his years were too few, De’Vonte made the most of his time here. As a student at Youngstown Community School, he approached his studies with curiosity and enthusiasm. Outside of the classroom, he found joy in playing Fortnite and Roblox and his love for basketball knew no bounds. He also had a penchant for watching Minecraft videos, which allowed his imagination to soar. De’Vonte had an unmistakable love for vibrant colors, with blue, red and green being his favorites. When it came to food, he couldn’t resist the allure of fried chicken and found great delight in indulging in Reese peanut butter cups, savoring each sweet bite. Above all, De’Vonte cherished his family and valued the relationships he had with them, understanding the profound significance of love and connection.

In remembering De’Vonte, his parents will forever hold him close in their hearts, as will his four siblings, Tamarick Driver, TerrVon Driver, Dream Ortello and Keilan Johnson. He will be dearly missed by his doting grandmothers, Carla Molina and Elizabeth Green and his grandfathers, Jessie Driver III and Corey Phillips, Sr., along with De’Vonte’s Godfather, Duane Eldridge, Jr., all who will forever cherish the memories they shared. He also leaves behind a score of aunts, uncles, cousins and friends, who were touched by his infectious smile and spirit.

While we grieve the loss of this beautiful soul, we take solace in the knowledge that De’Vonte is now reunited with his papa, Jessie Driver, Jr.; grandma, Aletha Ali and great-uncles, Kevin Agee, Terrance Driver and Richard Green. He is now together again with his aunts, Sharonda Miller and Valarcia Blair and his young cousin, Tariq Reid, who preceded him in death.

De’Vonte’s family wishes to thank the community for the intentional acts of love and outpouring of kindness which has been extended during this time. The family has been sustained by the compassionate ministries of prayer, peace and presence during this time of great loss. They are especially appreciative for the comforting bereavement ministry of the Youngstown Police Chaplaincy, the city’s Community Initiative to Reduce Violence, Compass Services, Alta Care Group and the Youngstown Community School.

As we bid farewell to De’Vonte, we welcome all those whose lives he touched to join us in celebrating his life. The funeral services, officiated by Rev. Dr. Lewis W. Macklin II, will be held at Noon, Thursday, November 2, 2023, at the Jaylex Event Center, 2110 Glenwood Avenue, where we will reflect upon the joy he brought into our lives. There will be a public viewing at 11:00 a.m., allowing the community to pay their respects and share in the memories we hold dear, however, we request that no photographs be taken.

Though our hearts ache with the loss of De’Vonte, we will forever hold onto the moments of love and laughter he gifted us during his time with us. His light will continue to shine, guiding us through our darkest days and reminding us of the enduring power of his spirit. Together, let us honor De’ Vonte’s unconditional love and carry forward his legacy of hope, joy and peace.

De’ Vonte’s family entrusted J.E. Washington Funeral Services, 2234 Glenwood Avenue, Youngstown, Ohio, with the ministry of comfort and transitional care arrangements. May he rest in eternal peace.

Send flowers to the service of De’Vonte Ja’Ton Housley, Jr.

A television tribute will air Tuesday, October 31 at the following approximate times: 5:17 a.m. on WKBN, 8:39 a.m. on FOX, 5:21 p.m. on WYTV and 6:35 p.m. on MyYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.